The Wife of Proverbs
With Valentine’s Day nearly upon us, I wanted to take a look through the book of Proverbs in light of the Holiday arriving. All throughout the book, Solomon and the other writers of the book of Proverbs offer advice in regards to our wives. Whether it’s advice to be taken in pursuing a woman to become your wife, living with your wife after marriage or a beautiful picture of what an honorable wife is, Proverbs covers it. This is not the end-all, be-all on the subject of marriage, but I truly believe there are some timeless truths we can incorporate into our daily lives to ensure Valentine’s day isn’t the only day of the year that our wives feel the love they deserve from us.
“Drink water from your own well— share your love only with your wife.” – Proverbs 5:15 (NLT)
“Let your wife be a fountain of blessing for you. Rejoice in the wife of your youth.” – Proverbs 5:18 (NLT)
While it may seem simple, this age-old advice should be in the forefront of our minds each and every day. The woman that I entered into a covenant relationship with deserves to have my heart, my mind, my body and everything that is uniquely “me”. In the sexually charged world that we live in today, it’s all too easy to “wander off the road” even without trying. In a marriage that’s designed and blessed by God, your wife is a fountain of blessing in more ways than you can count. Notice that the verse states that as husband’s we’re to only drink from our own well. We can’t fall into the trap of thinking that if we “just take a sip” here and there, it won’t affect us. Diverging from God’s Word here introduces a poison into our marriages that can kill.
I love reading Dr. James Dobson’s insights into relationships. I read the following quote at the end of one of his posts and it really stuck with me. I believe it truly captures the essence of these first verses in Proverbs. “God designed sex as an intimate expression of love between husband and wife. Anything that fails to meet that standard leaves one partner feeling unsatisfied and exploited.” Honor your wife every day by making the choice to leave and return as one with her.
“A worthy wife is a crown for her husband, but a disgraceful woman is like cancer in his bones.” – Proverbs 12:4 (NLT)
“The man who finds a wife finds a treasure, and he receives favor from the Lord.” – Proverbs 18:22 (NLT)
I remember the days before I began dating my wife. As it turns out, we were praying for each other before we even knew each other. Our very first conversations were about God, the Bible, what we believed and so much more. Before we were dating, I saw her accosted harshly and critically for what she believed. She left that situation and came over to me and said something I’ll never forget. She told me “They don’t know the God that I know” with tears in her eyes for them. She wasn’t upset about the situation… she was upset because their souls were lost. To me, that is what it means when a man finds a worthy wife he finds a treasure and receives favor from God. When I found my wife, I found a treasure.
This is what the writers of Proverbs are imparting to us. When you are seeking a wife, look for a woman who honors God, her parents and family and serves others humbly as Christ did. This is beauty beyond words that cannot be found easily. If you want to see a picture of what happens when you follow the flesh and lust, read the chapters of Proverbs 5 through 7 for a rather bold reminder of why this is foolish.
“A foolish child is a calamity to a father; a quarrelsome wife is as annoying as constant dripping.” – Proverbs 19:13
“It’s better to live alone in the corner of an attic than with a quarrelsome wife in a lovely home.” – Proverbs 21:9
“It’s better to live alone in the desert than with a quarrelsome, complaining wife.” – Proverbs 21:19
“It’s better to live alone in the corner of an attic than with a quarrelsome wife in a lovely home.” – Proverbs 25:24
“A quarrelsome wife is as annoying as constant dripping on a rainy day.” – Proverbs 27:15
Okay, now you may be thinking “Why in the world is he putting these in this post?!” Well, they were included in Proverbs so they belong in this post. Secondly, there’s some wisdom we can gain from looking at these verses. If the idea that living with a quarrelsome wife is mentioned 5 times throughout the book it must be pretty important. Solomon, perhaps the wisest man to walk the Earth, was onto something.
All of these verses beg this question: Husbands, what are you doing to make your home a sanctuary of godliness, peace, and safety? In a book we recently reviewed, Chuck Bentley expressed the importance of being a Peacemaker in your home. In his book “Money Problems, Marriage Solutions” he says this:
“It is the consistent readiness to reconcile mutual differences by seeking to listen to, honor, and learn from your spouse. Peace is the oil that makes the engine of your marriage run smoothly in spite of your differences, even during times of suffering. Peacemaking is the foundation for unity, which, in our view, is the key to lasting satisfaction, joy, and intimacy in marriage. But it doesn’t just happen automatically. You and your spouse must each strive to be a peacemaker, seeking common ground and mutual benefit rather than becoming entrenched in your own agendas or selfish desires… Your marriage can survive if one of you takes on the role of peacemaker, but it will only thrive when you and your spouse each purpose to become a peacemaker.”
As a husband, I am the leader of my home as well as the protector and the provider. It’s my responsibility to take the first step in ensuring that my home is a place of peace and safety for my family. By doing this, I am helping to meet my wife’s needs which drastically reduces the chances of us getting into a quarrel with each other. Does this mean that we’ll never argue or disagree? Certainly not. However, this removes the weeds so that what we choose to sow will grow rather than what Satan would have grown to come between us.
“Fathers can give their sons an inheritance of houses and wealth, but only the Lord can give an understanding wife.” – Proverbs 19:14
“Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies. Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.” – Proverbs 31:10-12
Finally, this is what the waiting, the praying, and the diligent seeking will reward you with when you honor God in your choice of a wife. When you find a woman who loves God more than you, you’re off to a great start. I can say from my life experience, having a wife who understands me and is looking out for me is invaluable. The scriptures here mention rubies, but I honestly cannot put a value on it. I can’t count the number of times I was about to do something stupid or half thought out when Steph gently and lovingly got me back on the path. She sees so much that I don’t see, and I’m learning that it’s hard to live without that.
For years, I’ve called her “my anchor” because she keeps me grounded when life’s storms are blowing our boat all over. However, I can also say that she’s my lookout because she sees dangers well ahead of me as I’m trying to navigate the waters just ahead to keep us afloat and moving forward. Any wife that is given by God is truly a blessing that will enrich your life. Don’t rush the decision to get married, and certainly don’t settle for anyone who doesn’t love God more than you. Only then will you understand why all of Solomon’s riches couldn’t be traded for the love of my wife.